By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON- Prior to the first serve being tossed in the air, Maddie Koch and Maria Scherer were each presented with a gold ball for getting 1000 kills and 1000 assists respectively in their high school careers. (Sept. 11)
The Jaguars then took to the courts and defeated a very game Seymour Thunders team (25-23, 25-19, 25-18)
Maria Scherer had 26 assists, and Maddie Koch added 15 digs, 14 kills, and 3 aces.
Emilie Pludeman had 14 digs.
No team led by more than one through the first 18 points of the opening set.
Seymour then took control with a five-point outburst (included two aces by Trista Tomazevic) to go up 14-9.
The Jaguars were continually missing shots wide of their target.
“We were forcing plays instead of making plays,” said Megan Wierschke, Jaguars volleyball coach. “Our fundamentals were a bit off.”
Later in the set, with the Thunder holding six-point advantage, the Jaguars finally found their game and won nine of the next 11 points to take their first lead (20-19) since early in the set.
During that span, Maddie Crowley and Mabel Kirst each connected on two kills to give Ashwaubenon the lift they needed.
Seymour enjoyed the lead once more at 22-21 after a missed Jaguars serve went into the net, but the Jaguars scored four of the last five points of the set with two aces by Koch and a Crowley quick flick that found the hardwood floor to give the Jaguars the opening set by two points.
“We were very fortunate to pull out the opening set,” said Wierschke. “Seymour came out with a lot of energy and they brought it too us.”
The second set was a microcosm of the first in that neither team could pull away from each other.
The Jaguars took an 8-7 lead after Scherer and Anna Wendorf blocked a Thunder attack.
Later on, the Thunder went on another mid-set run to go up 14-11 and Wierschke called the first of her two timeouts to try and settle the team down.
Once again, the Jaguars found their groove down the stretch.
Pludeman connected on an ace to give the Jaguars the lead back once again at 17-16, and then Crowley made two amazing digs to keep the point alive that the Jaguars eventually won to put Ashwaubenon up by two points.
It was all part of a barrage that enabled the Jaguars to capture set number two by six points.
The Jaguars didn’t want the Thunder hanging around in the third set and potentially extending the game.
Fortunately, for the Jaguars they jumped out to leads of 8-4, 13-8, and 19-14 that propelled them onto the three set non-conference victory over the Seymour Thunder.
“I am very excited for the team to continue the winning streak,” Wierschke said. “Couldn’t be happier for Maddie and Maria for their individual accomplishments. I’ve been tracking the stats on MaxPreps.com for some time and for them to both hit it around the same time is awesome. Maddie is a four-year player for us that has done it all and Maria is the setter that makes it all happen. Through it all, they’ve remained humble and credited their teammates.”
The Jaguars improve to 18-4 overall and have won 12 straight.